This was a different kind of December Council in a number of important ways. Many delegations…
December Council: South West Focus
Paul Trebilcock Cornish Fish Producers and NFFO Chairman-elect
“The December Fisheries Council finished in the early hours of Saturday 17 December in Brussels, when the TACs and quotas for 2012 were finally agreed.
The negotiations took place against the background of extreme proposals from the Commission for big reductions in a number key TACs and quotas for the South West.
Non TAC issues:
Sole Recovery Zone (VIIe) effort levels remain unchanged for 2012.
The Trevose Closure remains in place for 2012 from 1 February to 31 March.
“The UK minister and his team were fully briefed, through the NFFO team in Brussels, and made acutely aware of our key priorities ahead of the negotiations and we kept up the pressure throughout the Council.
One of the most disappointing and frustrating outcomes was on Spurdog, Porbeagle and Skate which remain under zero TAC. Despite all the rhetoric from the Commission about the importance reducing discards, these stocks were not up for negotiation. This amounts to a counterproductive, irrational, not to say schizophrenic approach from Commission. UK Minister and negotiating team were made fully aware of all the arguments and implications of such an outcome on these stocks but whilst he acknowledged and agreed with these he was unable to deliver due to the Commission’s immovable position. We all know this will deliver nothing expect increase discards and do nothing for conservation. The CFPO and NFFO will continue to work with CEFAS and DEFRA to develop alternative management proposals during 2012.
The December negotiations are always difficult with an ever growing political and green influence. However the CFPO and the NFFO team in Brussels deployed every scientific, economic and political argument at our disposal.
Where successful, this has been at least in part due to the work done by the NFFO, CFPO and its members through Fisheries Science Partnerships and the improved working relationship with scientists and policy makers.
At the beginning of these negotiations we made it clear the outcome would be judged as a package from our perspective and whilst progress was made on many fronts including fighting of cuts on data poor stocks, clearly the outcome overall did not deliver all of our priorities and in some areas was disappointing.
The CFPO has already begun talks with DEFRA and other member states to secure additional quota through international and domestic swaps and transfers in an effort to maximise fishing opportunities for 2012.”
Cornish Fish Producers Organisation
PROVISIONAL 2012 TAC CHANGES
Stock Commission Proposal Final Outcome
Cod VIIe-k Increase 140% Increase 150%
Haddock VIIb-k Cut 25% Increase 25%
Whiting VIIb-k Cut 25% Increase 15%Hake Cut 10% Cut 6%
Monk Cut 25% Cut 5%
Megrim Cut 25% Cut 5%Sole hjk Cut 15% Status Quo
Plaice hjk Cut 25% Cut 5%Sole e Increase 9% Increase 9%
Plaice de Cut 10% Increase 8.5%Sole fg Cut 15% Cut 10%
Plaice fg Cut 25% Cut 10%
Sole d Increase 9% Increase 15%
Pollack Cut 25% Status Quo
Saithe Cut 15% Status Quo
Ling Cut 25% Status QuoSkates & Rays VI & VII Cut 25% Cut 13%
(No Landings of Undulate Ray or Skate) Spurdog Zero TAC Zero TAC
Porbeagle Zero TAC Zero TAC
Note: These figures are subject to amendment following post Council clarifications.